Court opinions

COA: Dirty pictures allowed by Legislature

February 14, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Revisiting the question of whether sending sexually explicit photographs to a 16- or 17-year-old is permitted under state law, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld its earlier ruling by finding the Legislature’s inaction to amend the statute implies dirty pictures are suitable for these teens.
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COA affirms setback distance for Eastern Indiana wind farm

February 14, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a Rush County zoning ruling requiring industrial wind turbines to be at least 2,300 feet from some people’s property lines. The judges emphasized that the zoning ordinances outline minimum distances and the zoning board is able to increase those distances when warranted.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of a father with a history of domestic violence and other criminal convictions who said evidence was improperly admitted to terminate parental rights to his three daughters.
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COA allows Vectren to move forward with coal-powered plants project

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana energy company can proceed with its plans to bring two of its coal-powered plants into compliance with federal emissions standards after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to force the company to build natural gas plants instead.
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COA throws out jury’s $550,000 defamation, blacklisting verdict

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
A jury’s $550,000 defamation and blacklisting verdict in favor of a former school athletic director in northwestern Indiana was overturned Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit rejects collateral attack

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a man’s petition for collateral relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel because the man failed to allege facts that proved his public defender did not provide proper counsel.
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7th Circuit affirms remand of veteran’s disability case

February 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Army National Guard veteran’s disability case is heading back to the Social Security Administration after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday the veteran was not entitled to disability benefits based solely on the disability rating he received from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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7th Circuit halts fraud restitution for ‘reckless’ Bank of America

February 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
Three defendants convicted of wire fraud in the purchase of 16 properties in Gary were clearly guilty of the crimes, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday threw out a restitution order in favor of Bank of America and urged the district court in Hammond to consider fining the defendants instead.
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COA overturns bestiality conviction based on confession

February 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
Although a Delaware County man admitted to sexually assaulting his roommate’s dog, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the man’s bestiality conviction Thursday because the prosecution failed to establish a corpus delicti.
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7th Circuit affirms deferral on sentencing request

February 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana federal judge appropriately deferred judgment on a convicted child molester’s request for concurrent state and federal sentences because the state court was presented with additional facts that were relevant to sentencing, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.
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Justices hold mayor lacked authority to fire utilities superintendent

February 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a mayor did not have statutory authority to terminate his city’s utilities superintendent, writing in an opinion that “may well offend sound public policy” that only the utilities board can terminate the superintendent with cause, notice and a hearing.
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COA affirms convictions of man involved in fatal police chase

February 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s various drug, handgun and resisting law enforcement convictions Wednesday after holding that the man was aware of the contraband in his vehicle and that his operation of the vehicle resulted in a passenger’s death.
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Supreme Court reverses CHINS determination

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a children in need of services determination Tuesday after agreeing to hear the parents’ case on the merits, despite their premature notices of appeal.
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COA affirms summary judgment against Celadon in class action

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment against a prominent trucking company in a class-action lawsuit, holding that the terms of the company’s contract with its independent drivers require the company to deduct the cost of fuel from their compensation based only on the lowest discounted price.
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COA: Declaratory judgment, tort actions can arise from same occurrence

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A declaratory judgment action can arise from the same occurrence as an underlying tort action for purposes of permissive joinder under Trial Rule 20, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The judges affirmed the denial of a request to sever two tort counts from a count seeking declaratory judgment.
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Reversal: ‘Odor of raw marijuana’ sufficient grounds for search

February 6, 2017
Dave Stafford
A police officer who said he detected “a strong odor of raw marijuana” coming from a car during a traffic stop had probable cause to search the driver, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in reversing a trial court.
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COA: Malpractice claim barred by statute of limitations

February 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a woman’s malpractice claim after holding that the claim was barred by a two-year statute of limitations.
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Cop denied murder rehearing to appeal to US Supreme Court

February 6, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed itself and vacated its order to rehear a case of an Indiana police officer convicted of murder and arson. Glenn Patrick Bradford's attorney said he will ask the Supreme Court of the United States to hear the appeal.
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7th Circuit dismisses Moorish tax claim, condemns ‘sovereign citizen’ ideology

February 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who declared himself a “sovereign citizen” as a result of his “Moorish” heritage is in fact not a sovereign citizen who is exempt from taxes, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in a Friday opinion that delved into the history of the Moorish-American movement that has been the source of “difficult litigation."
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COA: Convicted sex offender can’t seek expungement for unrelated charges

February 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of Class D felonies is not eligible for expungement of those offenses because he has also been convicted of sex crimes, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday.
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COA: Bank had no duty to woman injured by drunken driver

February 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana bank does not owe a duty of care to a woman who was injured by a drunken driver after the bank’s employees helped the driver change his tire without knowing that he had been drinking, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday.
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7th Circuit upholds judgment in favor of nonprofit’s board of directors

February 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld summary judgment in favor of a sister on the board of directors of a family foundation after finding that her brother lacked standing to bring either individual or derivative claims on behalf of the corporation.
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7th Circuit allows evidentiary hearing on ineffective assistance of counsel claim

February 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
A doctrine allowing prisoners to bring ineffective assistance of counsel claims after a procedural default at the state level applies in Indiana and, thus, entitles a convicted murderer to an evidentiary hearing on his ineffective counsel claim, a divided 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.
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COA affirms default judgment against Menards in injury lawsuit

February 1, 2017
Olivia Covington
A summons and complaint in a personal injury claim were adequately served on a Menards store in Gary, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday, so the store cannot seek relief from default judgment entered against it on the basis of the service of process.
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Supreme Court upholds man's life sentence

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
An Elkhart County man who smoked synthetic marijuana then stabbed his girlfriend to death was unable to convince the Indiana Supreme Court that his sentence of life without parole was unconstitutional.
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  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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